A turtle lies on an idyllic tropical beach trapped in a six-pack ring. A diver swims in the Red Sea surrounded by plastic bottles. A couple stand on a wooden boat in the Baltic sea among oil slicks and factory pollution.
These are all images from a collection of beautifully illustrated, stylish postcards from Ocean52, a Barcelona-based beverage startup that devotes 52 percent of its earnings to ocean conservancy. The campaign, by Brooklyn agency Conquistadors, was designed for World Oceans Day and the postcards will be sent to 52 world leaders including the Secretary-General of The United Nations, the United States Secretary of Energy, Pope Francis, and the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Postcards will be also be distributed for free at restaurants and surf shops in Barcelona, Paris, Biarritz, and Lisbon, while Ocean52 will feature a different postcard each day for a week following World Oceans Day on Instagram. The postcard illustrations were created by Los Angeles artist Cecilia Fletcher and Barcelona-based illustrator Julian Lorenzo; you can see the full collection here.
According to Conquistadors founder and executive creative director Mauricio Alarcon, the aim is to catch people's eyes with the beautiful illustrations, as people often look the other way when they see upsetting photos capturing ocean pollution.
"Humans instinctively close their eyes to what's not beautiful. That's why we wanted to show the ugliest face of ocean pollution in a hypnotic way," he says. "The act of receiving a physical postcard in your mailbox is automatically associated with good news. We thought that if we camouflage the bad news with beautiful art, we'd get people's attention. Ironically, when the world talks about ocean pollution, people tend to pictures places far away from them. But, but when you see the places featured on our postcards, you realize pollution is closer than you think. Everyone thinks the Mediterranean is all glamour but it's actually one of the most polluted oceans."